D Dipasupil/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Lil Jon has responded after a recent report claimed that Donald Trump repeatedly called the Grammy Award-winning rapper and producer “Uncle Tom” while filming “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Lil Jon was a contestant on the 13th season of “The Apprentice” alongside Omarosa Manigault, who now works on Trump’s presidential campaign as director of African-American outreach. Other contestants that season included La Toya Jackson, Bret Michaels, Dennis Rodman and Marilu Henner.
According to The Daily Beast, Trump used the derogatory term for African-Americans while filming an episode where two teams of contestants were tasked to create competing displays for hair care products. Lil Jon donned an Uncle Sam costume to help his team encourage more sales.
The report claims that when Trump discovered Lil Jon’s strategy, he repeatedly referred to him as “Uncle Tom” instead of “Uncle Sam.”
The term “Uncle Tom” originated in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and eventually became an insult in the African-American community, used against blacks viewed as subservient to whites.
Lil Jon, an Atlanta native whose given name was Jonathan Smith, confirmed the incident happened on the show via a statement he posted to Twitter Friday.
The 45-year-old star famous for such hits as “Turn Down For What, said, “When this ‘Uncle Tom’ incident happened on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ in the boardroom several of my castmates and I addressed Mr. Trump immediately when we heard the comment.”
“I can’t say if he knew what he was actually saying or not, but he did stop using that term once we explained its offensiveness,” the statement continued.
Lil Jon also addressed Trump’s presidential candidacy.
“I also want to be clear that I don’t agree with many of the statements Mr. Trump has said during his current run for president,” he said.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was named the new host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” in November 2015 after NBC ended their relationship with the presidential candidate in June 2015.
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